Thirty Days of First Lines: Day 16

Today the start of story by William Gass. I’ve blown hot and cold on him: a reading I attended during my college years was mostly mystifying (if memorable, for, among other things, the rapt attention all the creative writing students gave him). His essays and short works have often been engrossing,  though, and this, the opening of “Quotations from General Flaubert” is from a collection of his called “Tests of Time.”


“Heinrich Zeitung Muller-Müller sat silently in the speeding cab and tried not to overhear let alone listen to his wife complaining about the risk inherent in wet roads, about the traffic, heavy already although it was early in the day, about the draft the driver had created by cracking his window, and the smoke of his cigarette, which was inconsiderately circulating across the back seat before finding its way out into the street. “So you say,” she said, though he had said nothing.”

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